Estate Planning Smarts

Why Buy This Book?

If the thought of doing an estate plan gives you goosebumps, you’re not alone. But if you don’t handle this yourself, you can be sure the government will handle it for you, and things may not turn out the way you would have wanted. Consider what happens without a will, for example. State law determines how your belongings get distributed. If your children are minors, a court will appoint a guardian for them. And you may lose the chance to take advantage of various ways of saving taxes.

Recent financial setbacks have caused many people to put less emphasis on material goods, and to reconnect with family and friends. Estate Planning Smarts, by Deborah L. Jacobs, is a book for these uncertain economic times, for people who are feeling less wealthy – or not wealthy at all. “Now, more than ever, estate planning is not just about money, but also about love, family and legacy,” Jacobs writes.

Estate Planning Smarts applies to everyone, whether or not they need to be concerned about estate taxes. For example, there are chapters on planning for our own mental decline, providing for loved ones, minimizing the income taxes that eat away at retirement accounts, and hiring a lawyer.

Other chapters are designed for people who have more money than they will need themselves. There are strategies for subsidizing parents and siblings, providing for the financial security of grandchildren, and giving assets away during life to save taxes later. The book also mentions charitable giving in several contexts, including information about specialized trusts that can benefit both family and charity.

Here are some ways that Estate Planning Smarts is easier to use and more up to date than other books on the subject:

To read a sample chapter, click here.